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Some of the Recent Developments on
Environmental Planning and
CERP 152 - TU
Second Semester 2012-2013


CARLET, Syvelle Joyce R.

The emergence of global and national environmental degradation of an
unprecedented scale has triggered a belief that past development strategies and
planning approaches were too narrow and short-sighted (Turner 1988, Jacobson 1988,
Caldwell 1990, ADB 1994a), as cited by King et. al (2008).
The traditional planning techniques might be outdated in the present time due to
the emerging issues that need to be addresses; some are neglected issues of the past,
like the issue of climate change. Nowadays, the conflicts between the natural, economic
and environmental factors are being more intense. In every case, planning is essential.
With the present situation, planning has to be more holistic and flexible wherein it must
integrate at most all sectors in its developmental planning, like the social, economic and
environmental sectors, to name some.
In planning, planners must not just plan for the sake of existence of plan but plan
for the purpose of making a huge positive impact. However, planning per se, no matter
how integrated or holistic it is, will not be enough if not implemented and further not
monitored. As King, et. al (2008) cited, The fruits of integrated economic and
environmental planning are only likely to be enjoyed in a social, cultural, and political
milieu that is supportive (Parnwell & Bryant 1996).

Green Cities: Existence and Strategies

Green cities are cities which push for sustainable development. Sustainability is
one of their top priorities. They are cities wherein they do not ask IF they will start to
be towards a greener economy but instead they ask HOW to be towards a greener
economy. Green economy means that more than just economically-speaking, they
also consider the environmentally-speaking aspect of their developmental activities.
They are towards creating sustainability plans and pushes through those plans. They
still push for their economic development but this time, taking more consideration to the
environmental aspect of their development.
Big cities are usually emitting relatively higher amount of greenhouse gases;
green cities, though they are big cities, they are concerned on how will they reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions. This is part of their plans. They are particular to a certain
degree of reduction in their GHG emissions. For example, some have goals of ten
(10%) percent to twenty (20%) reduction of their GHG emissions.


Apart from green buildings, green cities are developing their plans towards
greener jobs and even transport systems. Jobs are of importance because it is the main

Part of their plans and activities are encouraging green buildings built in their
vicinities. Green buildings are buildings with environmental-friendly appliances like the
energy-efficient ones.

generating-cause of every city. Transport systems are of equal importance because

traveling is one of the major activities of the people every day.
Some of them are investing in one or more central strategies to boost mass
transit, like building new light rail, streetcar or subway lines, building new local bus
systems, encouraging walking and cycling and subsidizing public transportation for city
employees. An example of this is found in Japan. Toyama, Japan has its Compact
City Strategy. In the city, citizens are car dependents. Due to the need, citizens own at
least one car per household on the average. This resulted to a decline use of public
transports. With that, part of their plan is to converge all public transport vehicles in one
central terminal. The intent is to concentrate city functions (e.g. business, residential,
commercial and cultural amenities) in the city centre and along railway lines, by
improving public transportation, as said in a report. Apart from that, the government
invested in their Light Rail Transit to accommodate more citizens and to have a userfriendly train for the citizens.
Like what was said earlier, planning itself without implementation and monitoring,
will be nonsense. In the project in Toyama City, Japan, they identified the key to
success in their process of development. It is through good governance and strong
leadership. Green cities are not just planned by the government for the government. It
is a community-based decision-making and planning wherein citizens plan, decide,
develop and work for their own.
This may not be the goal of every town but it one of the recent drives of cities
today. Big cities even lead this green city movement/advocacy.

A Conceptual Framework for Integrated Economic and Environmental Planning


Planning involves setting goals or targets, refining policies, setting minimum

standards, allocating resources and providing funds for measures to achieve the stated
aims and objectives (ORiordan & Turner 1983, Ortalono 1984). Implementation
involves decisions about which programmes or projects should receive scarce funds
(Braden & Kolstad 1991).

King, et. al (2008) shows a strategic all-level planning which is explained level by
level. This is however an Asian setting. In this all-level planning, there is also a concern
in the integration of economic and environmental planning. If the planning put much
emphasis in the economic aspect, economic development may cause environmental
problems such as pollution. As shown presently, especially in the developing countries,
pollution is a major problem and the main constituents affected are the households in
the poverty line. However, putting too much focus on the environmental aspect may
prohibit economic development since most if not all natural resources will be

King, et. al (2008)s some parts of the paper are presented below.
A Framework for Analyzing Integrated Economic And Environmental Planning
The integration of economic and environmental planning tends to be thought of in
the horizontal. If is also possible, however, to envisage planning taking place at different
vertical levels.
This is a useful descriptive model, because it reflects the fact that economic and
environmental planning can take place at five different jurisdictional levels, and at the
level of individual development projects. Figure 1 presents this idea in a graphical form,
where E-c-E planning is shown as taking place at the following levels: global; regional
(supra-national), national, local, and project.

This is also a potentially useful prescriptive model, implying that integrated E-c-E
planning might need to take place at the different levels of this "nested" hierarchy, if
sustainable development goals are to be met. This idea will be pursued in more detail at
the end of this article.


Figure 1: A Hierarchical Framework for Analyzing Integrated E-c-E Planning


Attempts to integrate economic and environmental planning at the global level
have accelerated substantially since the "second wave" of contemporary concern about
environmental issues at the end of the 1980s. Efforts have focused on international
environmental treaty-making , and on the development of non-binding strategic, sector,
and action plans.
Treaties and Conventions
Global consensus has been largely achieved for environmental issues which do
not threaten the fundamental economic basis of modern existence, such as ozone
reduction, trade in endangered species, preservation of wetlands, pollution from ships,
and long range transboundary air pollution. For more fundamental issues that impinge
on national economic development options, such as global carbon dioxide reduction,
consensus has been more elusive (Group of Green Economists 1992, Sachs 1993,
Hempel 1996).
There are now several thousand treaties/agreements/conventions/protocols on
environmental issues. UNEP publishes an on-line database on Selected Multilateral
Treaties in the Field of Environment. Classification of the subject matter of treaties in the
database is summarised in Table 1.

Number of Treaties




Atmospheric Pollution


Biological Diversity Fauna



Biological Diversity Flora



Cultural Heritage



Subject of Treaty

Table 1: Subjects of Global Legally Binding Treaties






Forest Resources


Marine Environment



Nuclear Energy and Materials



Ozone Layer Protection


Peace and Environment


Pests and Diseases


Toxic and Hazardous Substances


Water Resources Management



Working Environment


Total Number of Treaties*




Few treaties specifically address the issue of integration between environmental

and economic objectives, although it could be said that the framework conventions
developed at the Earth Summit in 1992 (ie the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change, and the Convention on Biological Diversity) are a step in this direction.

Source: UNEP (1991) * Note some treaties deal with more than one subject

Asian nations have a propensity to enter into international agreements

concerning environmental issues which would (if implemented) have a significant impact
on economies of the region, although the record to date in implementing such
agreements is less than laudable (UNEP 1991). Brenton (1994) divides international
instruments into (i) legally binding, entered into force, and changed behaviour; (ii)
entered into force, but not changed behaviour, often because no enforcement
mechanism was included; and (iii) non-legally binding texts. Governments are
conscious of pressure from domestic interest groups to progressively move from type
(iii) agreements to type (i) and thus strongly defend their positions even over non-legally
binding text.

Strategic, Sector and Action Plans

The difficulties associated with obtaining political consensus for international
treaties is one reason why these binding agreements have rarely dealt directly with
integration of economic and environmental planning.
The same problem does not confront the so-called "soft laws" that are presented
in declarations, strategic plans, sector plans, and action plans. As a consequence,
many of these initiatives that have developed since the Stockholm Conference on the
Human Environment in 1972 do treat the issue of economic and environmental
integration seriously. Significant examples are presented in Table 2.

Table 2: Global Plans and Strategies

Plan or Strategy



Plan of Action to Combat Desertification


Global Strategy for Health for All by the year 2000


World Charter for Nature



World Population Action Plan

Thematic Plans

Strategy for Protection of the Marine Environment


Tropical Forest Action Plan


Strategy and Agenda for Action for Sustainable Agriculture


and Rural Development

Global Biodiversity Strategy


Comprehensive Plans

Stockholm Conference Action Plan


World Conservation Strategy


Our Common Future


Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living


Agenda 21


Sources: World Resources Institute 1995, Tisdell 1993, IUCN 1980, WCED 1987, WHO
1981, WPC 1974, WRI 1995, WRI/IUCN/UNEP 1995, IUCN/UNEP/WWF 1991, UN
1982, UN 1984 UNCED 1992.

The Development of Global Planning


To the extent that there is a common approach to planning and implementation

of global treaties, strategic plans, sector plans and action plans, it is generally as shown
in a simplified version in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Planning Approach for Global Strategies and Action Plans

Implementation of the agreements may be according to a time frame set down in
the document or may rely on follow-up meetings or protocols or subsequent national
legislation and government programmes. Following the failure to implement many
previous global agreements, public commitments of funding arrangements for
implementation have been sought during recent international summits or meetings. For
comprehensive agreements, such as Agenda 21, separate organizations may be
established to monitor implementation, or an existing organization, such as a UN body
may be assigned this role.

Tools and Techniques used in Global Planning

Underpinning many global agreements and plans are complex computer models
which have served to alert the scientific community of potential and emerging global


Some of these models integrate economic and environmental parameters. For

example, the World3 model, which underpinned The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al.
1972), consists of 149 equations and tables, including 18 on population, 81 on
economics, and 18 on natural resources and pollution. This kind of modelling approach
has been often criticized (Sanderson 1994), primarily because such models can be
made to produce continued growth or collapse depending on assumptions about
unknown, and possibly unknowable, parameters (Cole et al. 1973, Lehman 1981).


Regional Sustainable Development Plans
Leading up to the 1992 Earth Summit, several regional comprehensive economic
and environmental plans were prepared, such as:
Our Own Agenda - Latin America & Caribbean (1990)
Economic Policies for Sustainable Development - Southeast Asia (1990)
Environment and Development: A Pacific Perspective, and The Pacific Way - Pacific
Islands (1991)
Our Own Agenda (Latin American and Caribbean Commission on Development
and Environment (LACCDE) 1990) was supported by the Inter-American Bank and
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It clearly recognized the linkages
between developed and developing countries, claiming that industrialized countries
have incurred an ecological debt to the world. It appears to anticipate a negotiation with
the "North" to recover this debt at Rio de Janeiro.
Economic Policies for Sustainable Development (ADB 1990) was seen as the
Asian regional response to the Brundtland Commission's challenge, laid down in Our
Common Future, to prepare regional and national plans for sustainability. With funding
from ADB and co-financing by Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, seven
developing countries, (Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and
Sri Lanka) agreed to participate.
Environment and Development: A Pacific Perspective and the companion volume
The Pacific Way: Pacific Island Developing Countries' Report to UNCED, grew out of a
process initiated by the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP) and
was financially supported by ADB and UNDP (ADB 1991a). The process enabled
SPREP's 27 member countries, to prepare a consolidated position for UNCED. In
particular, The Pacific Way contains the priority actions for sustainable development for
the 14 Pacific Island Developing Countries (PIDCs).
Regional Growth Plans


Throughout the Asian region, there are many growth triangles (or quadrangles),
that seek to combine the comparative advantages of adjacent countries. These include:
Golden Quadrangle - Burma, Laos, China and Thailand;
Northern Triangle - Peninsular Malaysia (Kedah, Perak, and Perlis);
Southern Thailand (Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani);
North Sumatra and Aceh in Indonesia;
Southern Triangle - Johore, Singapore and the Riau Islands of Indonesia;


In addition to regional plans that consist of joint planning by more than one
country, there is a subset of regional plans which involve parts of countries combining to
prepare "regional growth plans".

Eastern Triangle - Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and southern Philippines;

South China Triangle - Taiwan, Hong Kong and southern PRC; and
Tumen River Triangle - North Korea, northern China, Mongolia, and Russia (Lilley
International River Basin Plans
As defined ecosystems, international river basins offer the potential for an
integrative economic and environmental planning approach (Downs et al. 1991).
Possibly the earliest international river basin plan in Asia was for the Mekong
River Basin, initially involving the lower riparian countries of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia
and Vietnam. The Interim Committee for the Development of the Mekong River Basin
was established in 1957. One of the earliest regional plans prepared for the basin was
the Indicative Basin Plan for the Mekong River, (MRC 1970). A Revised Indicative Plan
for the development of land, water and related resources of the lower Mekong Basin
was released in 1987. Since then more than $70 million has been spent on planning
and management in the Basin (Webster 1995). In 1995, the lower riparian countries
agreed to reconstitute the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the upper riparian
countries, Myanmar and PRC were invited to join. Less comprehensive plans have
been prepared for the Ganges and Salween Rivers.
Regional Environmental Plans
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Strategic Plan of Action
on the Environment 1994-98 (ASEAN 1994) is an example of the perceived benefits
from regional cooperation on environmental issues. The ASEAN Plans began in 1977
and have been revised four times since then. The objectives of the current plan are to:
respond to Agenda 21 recommendations requiring priority action in ASEAN;
encourage integration of environmental factors in all development processes at
national and regional levels;
harmonize environmental quality standards;
harmonize policy directions and undertake joint actions to address common problems;
study the implications of the ASEAN Free Trade Area on the environment, and
integrate sound trade policies with sound environmental policies.



The Plan contains ten strategic thrusts and 27 supporting actions to attain the
objectives. Although there are less advanced, similar regional environmental planning
exercises developing in South Asia (through the auspices of the South Asian
Cooperative Environment Programme), and in the South Pacific (via SPREP).

The Development of Regional Planning

Regional Sustainable Development Plans
The planning approach taken by Our Own Agenda was essentially descriptive,
starting with a comprehensive inventory of environmental and natural resources
degradation, representing a hundred years of non-sustainability (LACCDE 1990).
The relevant conditions for sustainable development were considered to be:
eradication of poverty;
sustained use of natural resources;
agroecological zoning;
technological development compatible with social and natural reality;
a new economic-social strategy;
social organization and mobilization; and
government reform.
Each condition generated a set of recommended actions. To develop the details
of the strategy, a follow up Environmental Action Plan in Latin America and the
Caribbean was to be developed with UNDP assistance.
For Economic Policies for Sustainable Development (ADB 1990), country studies
were commissioned to examine the extent to which recent development policy and
practice took sustainability into account. Particular attention was paid to the relative
importance of pressures on the resource base from the combined effects of population
growth and the intensity and type of economic activities. Each country report
recommended policy modifications to protect the needs of future generations as well as
to enhance current economic welfare. The country studies were incorporated into a
synthesis report for the region and debated at a Ministerial-level Conference on
Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, which resulted in a regional
declaration of political support for sustainable development, carried forward to the Earth
Summit in 1992.
A similar planning process was adopted in Environment and Development: A
Pacific Perspective (ADB 1991a). To start the process, national reports were compiled
by a task force of government officials, consultants and NGOs, for each PIDC. These
were mostly based on the format provided by the UNCED Secretariat for country
reports. The synthesis report, Environment and Development consisted of summaries of
the country reports, followed by a synthesis chapter and then priorities for future action.
The Pacific Way is a shorter executive summary summarizing the issues and
constraints to sustainable development and the consensus on priority actions.


The other forms of regional planning appear not to have been as comprehensive
in either economic or environmental dimensions (Downs et al. 1991). Regional growth


Other Regional Plans

plans have concentrated on economic parameters, international river basin plans have
concentrated on water resources management, and regional environmental plans have
generally ignored the economic dimension. Hence there are few useful methodological
insights to be drawn from these planning approaches.


National Environmental Plans
Many of the global and regional planning initiatives already introduced in this
paper have resulted in a requirement for countries to produce national-level responses.
A wide variety of plan types has evolved. Table 3 presents a categorization system for
national environmental plans. These plans exhibit varying degrees of integration of
economic and environmental factors.

Table 3: Categorization System for National Environmental Plans

Type of Plan

Brief Description

Sectoral Master Plans

Sectoral expression of Five Year Development


Plans, for sectors such as forestry, water

resources, and agriculture.

National Tropical Forestry

Sponsored by FAO as part of the Tropical

Action Plans (TFAP)

Forestry Action Programme

National Plans to Combat

Sponsored by the Permanent Committee for

Desertification (NPCD)

Drought Control in the Sahel

State of the Environment

Status reports, rather than strategies, but often

Reports (SER)

identifying emerging environmental and natural

Usually 5-year plans, focusing on fiscal

Economic Development

management and infrastructure, but may mention


Conventional National


resource problems

Plans (NEDP)

the environment sector

National Conservation

Provide cross-sectoral analysis of conservation

Strategies (NCS)

and resource management issues.

National Environmental

Provide a framework for integrating environment

Action Plans (NEAP)

into a nation's overall economic and social

development programmes. Sponsored by World

Green Plans (GP)

Comprehensive, national programmes for

environmental improvement and resource

National Environmental

Similar to National Environmental Action Plans

Management Plans

but applied to Pacific Island developing countries.


National Biodiversity

Provide a framework for managing biodiversity

Action Plans

issues. Required by the Convention on

Biodiversity and often funded by the Global
Environment Facility.

National Sustainable

Comprehensive plans based on the structure and

Development Plans

format of Agenda 21.



Virtually all countries in the Asia Pacific region have undertaken some form of
national environmental planning (Chia 1987). Most often these planning initiatives have


Source: Adapted from IUCN/IIED, 1993

been donor driven and focus on the environment, with economics as a less important
consideration. Table 4 provides a selection of examples.

Table 4: Examples of Asian National Environmental Plans


Title of Plan/Institutional Arrangement

Type of




National Conservation Strategy



National Environmental Management

Action Plan



National Environmental Secretariat


Seventh Five Year Plan




Environmental Action Programme




Fourth Comprehensive National



National Environment Action Plan



Updated NEAP



National Conservation Strategy



Draft Action Plan



Environmental Action Plan



National Environmental Action Plan

(1992-1996) updated in March 1994



National Conservation Strategy




Sri Lanka





Development Plan


National Conservation Strategy and





Green Vision 21



Environmental Action Plan



Socio-economic Development Plan



National Conservation Strategy



National Action Plan for Environment and

Sustainable Development









Implementation Plan


Green Plan - Towards a Model Green


Republic of



State of the Coastal and Marine

Environment Report
State of Environment Report


Towards Mongolia's Environmentally

Sound Sustainable Development



Sources: Ministry of Environment and Forest 1995, Environment Agency 1976, National
Land Agency 1987, JICA undated, Mori undated, Ministry of Environment and
Parliamentary Affairs 1994, MOE 1992, Administrative Centre for Chinas Agenda 21
1993, NEPA 1995, SOA 1996, Organisation for Science, Technology and Environment
1993, MOSTE 1994a, MOSTE 1994b, NEA 1994, Ministry of Environment, ROK 1995.

The Development of National Planning

To overcome the problems of previous national sustainable development plans
(especially the lack of integration with national economic planning), National Strategies
for Sustainable Development (NSDS) have been proposed by IUCN as the ideal
planning approach to implement Agenda 21 (IUCN/IIED 1993). A NSDS is defined as a
participatory and cyclical process of planning and action to achieve economic,
ecological and social objectives in a balanced and integrated manner (IUCN/IIED 1993).
To prepare a NSDS, the Guidelines (IUCN/IIED 1993, Carew-Reid et al. 1994) set out
ten steps:
define goals, targets and standards;
analyze ecological, economic and social issues, clarifying linkages, identifying policy
prepare sectoral and cross-sectoral policies and plans;
identify and apply practices to sustain the resource base of the economy;
determine priorities for action, evaluating costs and benefits and the trade-offs;
allocate limited resources;
build capacities to handle complex and interrelated issues;
rationalize legislation;
improve decision making through better information and analytical techniques, and by
enabling those most affected by decisions to contribute to them; and
develop understanding and build consensus so that decisions have strong support.
A unique approach has been adopted by the Netherlands in drawing up its
National Environmental Policy Plan 2 (NEPP2 1994). Firstly, it was based on the earlier
NEPP1 (1989), which drew up a strategic, long term policy plan and set out policy
objectives for 2000 and 2010. Secondly, it evaluated experience with implementation of
NEPP1, as the basis for drawing up NEPP2. Thirdly, it explicitly linked international,
regional, national, and local objectives. Finally, it was based on consultation and written
agreements with specific target groups, responsible for implementation of mutually
agreed, quantitative targets, linked to the overall carrying capacity of the environment. It
also clearly recognized the financial implications for each target group and explicitly
highlighted the macro-economic impacts.

Tools and Techniques used in National Planning



Recognizing that much of the statistical data in developing countries is of little

use for planning integrated economic and environmental futures at the national level,
sustainable development planning may need to be supported by: environmental
information systems; state of the environment reports; natural resources accounting;
and, environmental indices.

Environmental Information Systems

The NSDS Guidelines recommend that a Sustainable Development Information
System should be developed as an integral step in the planning process, comprising:
trends in resources and ecosystems, their quality and quantity, and ecological limits;
policy and economic signals underlying resource/ecosystem use;
responses of different sectors and population groups to these policy and economic
the importance and relevance of the resource base and ecosystems for different
detailed sectoral analyses on forestry, agriculture, human settlements, fisheries,
energy, transport, industry, and tourism;
cross-sectoral analyses;
provisional assessment of the sustainability of resource/ecosystem use by major
economic sector or population groups;
the principal functional/institutional constraints to sustainability;
definition of priority issues; and
an outline of policy recommendations (Carew-Reid et al. 1994).
State of the Environment Reports
The major aims of SERs are to: improve understanding by decision makers of
the state of the environment over time so that they can evaluate the results of past
actions and identify emerging problems; improve public understanding about the state
of the environment; foster the necessary mandate for action; and incorporate
environmental considerations more fully into the decision making process. Although few
developing countries have legislation requiring regular reports on environmental quality,
there is a trend towards annual reports of varying quality and coverage (OECD 1992).
Generally the scope of SERs includes: discussion on the adverse effects of economic
activities on the environment; the status of resource use and population pressures;
changes in environmental quality over time; effectiveness of previous policies, plans, or
legislation; and, emerging problems requiring attention. Most SER reports compile and
analyze existing environmental data.


The Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has
produced similar reports for the Asia-Pacific region (ESCAP, 1990, 1995). UNEP's
Environment Assessment Program - Asia Pacific is working towards a common
framework for national SERs, to be consolidated into a regional SER in the year 2000,
which in turn would become an input to a global report in 2002 (UNEP 1994).


In addition to the statistics collected nationally, UNEP has produced annual

SERs since 1974 and a Global State of Environment Report (1972-1992) (UNEP 1992).
UNEP is also committed to the release of biennial Global Environment Outlook (GEO)
reports, leading up to a decadal Global State of the Environment in 2002. Its first report,
GEO-1 was released in 1996.

Natural Resource Accounting

Natural resource accounting or environmental accounting3 involves modifying the
UN System of National Accounts (SNA) to reflect environmental and natural resource
issues (Ahmad et al. 1989). Major adjustments to the SNA to reflect these broader
dimensions involve inclusion of defensive expenditures to protect or restore the
environment, and deductions for the depletion and degradation of natural resources.
The UN Statistical Commission, mandated to revise the SNA, decided to maintain
consistency and recommended interim satellite accounts linked to the SNA (Ahmad et
al. 1989). A Handbook of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting has been
prepared (and tested in Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Thailand) and has become the
international standard for this approach (Meyer 1993).
In Asia, some empirical work on satellite accounts has been undertaken (Repetto
et al. 1987, Magrath & Arens 1987). Natural resource accounting efforts are being
undertaken in Indonesia, India, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Pakistan, PRC,
and Sri Lanka, but to date, no country has overhauled its core national accounting
system to incorporate natural resource depletion, or include other environmental
valuations (Meyer 1993).
Environmental Indices
An Index of Environmental Quality, which would measure the defensive and
repair costs to achieve international minimum environmental quality standards would be
a useful complement to the Human Development Index and GNP (ADB 1994c, Harvard
University 1995). However, acceptable national standards vary from country to country,
casting doubt on the damage repair cost approach. Also, the costs of remediation imply
a technology choice and the repair mechanism itself may have unintended side effects,
which may lead to double counting of benefits or under-estimation of costs. It is also
difficult to incorporate social issues such as equity or gender differences, although these
may have a major bearing on perceptions of environmental quality. Finally, the large
amounts of data required may not be available in many developing countries. These
methodological problems have led to a simpler "environmental diamond" approach,
based on principal components analysis, akin to the World Bank's "development
diamonds" (World Bank 1994, ADB 1994c). These diamonds scale factors on vertical
and horizontal axes for each country, compared to an accepted standard.


While regional economic development planning has a long history (Isard 1960,
Friedmann & Alonso 1964, Boudeville 1966), the environment tended to be omitted until
the late 1970s (Gilpin 1986, Hufschmidt 1969). Geographically based sub-national plans
in Asia have been undertaken at the level of river basins, integrated area development
regions, provinces, islands, and biosphere reserves.



River Basin Plans

During the 1960s, large-scale river basin plans were popular, many funded by
the World Bank, such as the Cisanggarung, Brantas River, and the Citanduy River
Basin Plans in Indonesia. For the Ganges River in India, a Central Ganga Authority was
created and an Action Plan prepared in 1986.
In Bangladesh, the Flood Plan Coordination Office (FPCO), under a nation-wide
Flood Action Plan (FAP), commissioned a series of regional water resources studies
(FPCO 1994), corresponding to major river basins. The total cost of the 26 FAP studies
and pilot projects was about US$150 million over a period of 5 years. It resulted in 65
investment proposals in the water sector amounting to US$3 billion.
Integrated Area Development Plans
In the 1970s, recognizing that rural development was extremely complex and
involved many government departments and cross-sectoral activities, integrated area
development projects became fashionable, such as the Nusa Tenggara Timor
Integrated Area Development Project, Indonesia; Pahang Barat Integrated Area
Development Project, Malaysia; and Palawan Integrated Area Development Project,
Philippines. Typically, these projects involved large study areas with investment plans in
infrastructure, institutional capacity building, beneficiary participation etc., but limited
attention to environmental issues (Siwar & Mustapha 1988, Hewson et al. 1991, Porter
et al. 1991).
Integrated Economic-cum-Environmental Plans



In the 1980s, the ADB built on the long established regional planning processes
in Latin America (OAS 1984) and commissioned a series of integrated E-c-E plans
(Table 5). A detailed analysis of the sub-national E-c-E approach, as applied in Asia, is
dealt with in King (1999). Table 5

Table 5: Summary of Sub-National E-c-E Studies in Asia (ADB 1988)

Case Study


Cost of Study



(000 km2)


Han River Basin







(Republic of Korea)

Laguna Lake Basin


Palawan Integrated Area











Samutprakarn (Thailand)




Klang Valley (Malaysia)




Segara Anakan (Indonesia)




Haihe Basin (PRC)




Hainan Island (PRC)




Development (Philippines)

Eastern Seaboard



Songkhla Lake Basin



Coastal Environment

Daro-Mukah Coastal Zone








Sources: ADB 1991c, 1993c, 1995a, DID 1992, Dobbin Milus 1995, Engineering
Science/SEATEC 1987, ERL 1992, Hassall 1994, INTAN/DOE 1988, JICA 1988, Kinhill
Engineers 1994, NESDB 1988, NESDB/NEB 1985, SEATEC 1997, Stanley 1996,

The Development of Sub-National Planning



The Department of Regional Development of the Organization of American

States (OAS) prepared one of the most influential reports on the incorporation of
environmental considerations into regional development planning (OAS 1984). Since
1969, OAS has assisted 25 Latin American and Caribbean countries to prepare 75
integrated E-c-E studies at the sub-national level. These studies cost more than US$50
million and formulated about US$3.8 billion in development projects, about half of which
were under implementation. The OAS planning process is summarized in Table 6.

Phase II

Development Diagnosis

Project Formulation and

Preparation of Action Plan

Diagnosis of Region

Project Formulation (profile

* sectoral analysis

or PFS) and evaluation.

* spatial analysis

* production sectors

* institutional

* support services

* environmental

* social development

* synthesis:

* infrastructure

needs, problems,

* urban services


* natural resources



Relation to National

Action Plan Preparation

Plans, Strategies,

* project packages


* policies

Development Strategies

* incentives

* formulation and

* investment

analysis of



* funding sources

* identification of

* training and institutional

project ideas




Phase I:


Table 6: OAS E-c-E Planning Process Summary



Interim Report

Final Report

* diagnosis of

* development strategy


* action plan

* preliminary

* projects


* supporting



9 to 12 months

12 to 18 months


Source: OAS (1984)

At its core, this process consists of the following steps:

comparison of information on natural resource development potential with existing
uses of resources;
analysis of population growth and projected demands for good and services;
interviews with local people during field studies to identify new project ideas;
determining which needs are being fully satisfied by existing natural resources and
whether they need to be enhanced or protected;
identification of a small number of projects for immediate implementation before the
study is completed; and
involvement of the private sector as early as possible to facilitate prompt action on
promising projects.
In Asia, the OAS approach has been refined by the Asian Development Bank (ADB
1988). The key difference between the processes is that OAS recommends that all
groups likely to conflict over resource allocation should be invited to participate in the
analysis phase, and conflicts should be resolved through third party mediation, before
positions harden. Perhaps reflecting greater sensitivity to public participation in the
Asian region, the ADB approach places less weight on conflict resolution and suggests
that conflicts should be handled predominantly by decision-makers.


The development of quantitative investigation in sub-national planning in the

1960s led to increasingly complex modeling exercises, such as Forrester's Urban


Tools and Techniques used in Sub-National Economic and Environmental


Dynamics Model (Forrester 1969), although contemporary computer limitations

hampered such developments (Chadwick 1971). While mathematical modeling has
remained a useful adjunct to integrated economic and environmental planning at the
sub-national level, there are few proponents today who would advocate modeling as the
only tool. Reality has proved to be more complex than the most complex of models
(Zuchetto & Jansson 1985, FAO 1986).
More qualitative approaches, in which quantitative models may be embedded,
are now favoured (Fedra et al. 1993). The development of GIS software, which can
manipulate massive amounts of spatially related data, and data-rich remote sensing
images has led to a resurgence of interest in modeling approaches (Fedra & Kubat
1993). For example, GERMINAL (Prilaz-Droux & Musy 1994, Prilaz-Droux et al. 1994)
uses GIS to provide a global representation of the territory to be planned and allows
spatial entities to be displayed.


Local Sustainable Development Plans
One of the successes following the Earth Summit in 1992, has been the number
of Local Agenda 21 plans prepared (Gordon 1994, CSD 1997). By 1995, the
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) found that more than
2,000 local governments from 49 countries had prepared local Agenda 21s. Examples
of best practice were placed on the Internet as part of the United Nations Conference on
Human Settlements (Habitat II) (ICLEI 1995). Over 330 European cities signed the
Aalborg Charter "Towards Sustainability" and the Lisboa Action Plan: From Charter to
Action, in October 1996. The Commission on Sustainable Development concluded that
local level strategies and plans have proved more successful than many of those at the
national level, primarily because of NGO/grass roots participation in decision making.
Comprehensive Local Plans



Wilson (1980) described five categories of local planning (i) rational (centralized,
comprehensive, mechanistic), (ii) incremental (politically influenced marginal
adjustments), (iii) mixed scanning (situational, combining both of the above), (iv) general
systems (interactive, integrative, and iterative), and (v) adaptive learning (decentralized,
participative, humanistic, futures oriented). Daneke (1986) assumed that some hybrid of
the general systems and adaptive learning approach would satisfy the legitimate
concerns of small communities, although there have been few practical applications to
date (Kaiser et al. 1994, Branch 1985) and many regulatory agencies are intensely
resistant towards adaptive learning approaches.

Urban Plans
Virtually all countries in the Asian region require local structure plans to be
prepared, particularly for urban development (Potter 1985). Some significant
documented examples include (i) Shanghai (Fung & Freeberne 1981), (ii) Singapore
(Wang & Tan 1981), (iii) Bombay (Deshpande & Arunachalam 1981), (iv) Bilaspur
(Khan 1990), (v) Karachi (Herbert 1982), (vi) Ankara (Tekeli & Okyay 1982), (vii)
Durgapur (Sivamakrishnan 1982), and (viii) Chandigarh (Sarin 1982).


Project Planning
Traditionally, decisions on which projects to fund and implement relied on a
combination of political decisions and calculation of rates of economic return from
alternative projects, compared to the opportunity cost of money. Economic analysis was
aimed at the single objective of economic efficiency, in the belief that this would lead to
overall improvements in social welfare or quality of life (Pezzey 1989). Environment and
ecology were separate worlds of scientific endeavour and if they were taken into
account at all, it was as an add-on or separate investigation and largely peripheral to the
decision making process.
Today, integrating environmental considerations into economic development
projects is being approached from three supportive directions. First, impacts are
identified and mitigation measures proposed through environmental impact assessment
(EIA). Second, strategic environmental assessment (SEA) addresses the environmental
impacts of policies and development strategies, sectoral plans, and the cumulative
impacts of a series of projects. Third, externalities are internalized in the economic
analysis, through environmental economics techniques.
Environmental Impact Assessment


More recently, it has become obvious that while EIAs as separate, stand-alone
exercises can play a useful, supporting role for development planning, there ia a need
to incorporate environmental considerations more directly into other planning
mechanisms (Westman 1985, Clarke & Herington 1988). The first step in this process
has been to integrate EIAs into feasibility studies, so that proposed remedial measures
could be built into the project design and the costs of mitigation and monitoring plans


In the early 1970s, industrialized countries introduced EIA as a powerful tool to

incorporate environmental considerations into project design, passed new
environmental laws, and created environment protection agencies (Rau & Wooten
1980, Shabecoff 1985, Wathern 1988, Ellis 1989). By 1974, an estimated 6,000 EIAs
were being prepared every year in California alone, indicating vigorous application of
the new technique (Fowler 1982).

could be incorporated into the project cost-benefit analysis prior to funding decisions
(Ludwig et al. 1991). However, the choice of which projects to study (and ultimately
fund) was still based mainly on economic criteria and the EIA could only modify the
project design or, in extreme cases, recommend against the project proceeding
(Carpenter 1981).
Despite these limitations, EIA has remained as the leading tool for incorporation
of environmental considerations into project design and implementation (Bisset &
Tomlinson 1984, Bailey & Finucane 1989, ADB 1993b, Wood 1995). At the Earth
Summit+5, the Commission on Sustainable Development reported that about 70
percent of countries now use EIA (CSD 1997). EIA has been adopted in nearly all Asian
countries since the late 1970s (ADB 1991b, ADB 1993b, ADB 1994d, Brown et al. 1991,
Nay Htun 1988). Thousands of EIAs have been completed in Asia. From 1980-85, 445
EIA reports were prepared for medium and large projects in PRC alone (Wang Huadong
Over the past 30 years, the supporting tools and techniques for EIA have
become more sophisticated, involving expert systems, modeling, hypermedia,
geographic information systems etc. (Canter 1977, 1985, 1986, Holling 1978, Golden
1979, Fedra et al. 1987, Woodcock 1990, Fedra 1991).
Strategic Environmental Assessment
The success (or in some views, failure) of EIA at the project level has provided
an impetus for attempts to extend the use of EIA to sector reviews (Ballofet &
Associates 1994, World Bank 1993)), for strategic plans, public investment
programmes, and for policy assessment (Therivel et al. 1992, Sadler & Verheem
Therivel et al. (1992) rationalize the extension of EIA approaches to encompass
strategic environmental assessment on the grounds that policy formulation and
implementation infrequently benefit from wider review and many countries, like the
United Kingdom, from the 1970s onward have abandoned comprehensive national
planning. Countries which appear to be moving in the direction of insisting on SEA for
policies, plans and programmes include the European Union, parts of the USA (more
than 130 programmatic environmental impact reports are produced annually in
California), Germany, New Zealand (as a requirement under the 1991 Resource
Management Act), Netherlands (since 1987), and Canada. To date there are no
developing countries in Asia that have a mandatory requirement for SEA.


At the other end of the environment-economics spectrum, economists have

begun to realize that conventional project economic analysis may be flawed and
environmental considerations provide systematic evidence of market failures (Page
1977, Howe 1979, Fisher 1981, Hufschmidt & Hyman 1982, Costanza et al. 1997).


Environmental Economics

Gradually, economic tools are being developed to account for the environmental
implications of development projects. These tools use (i) the market value of directly
related goods and services (changes in productivity, loss of earnings, opportunity cost,
cost effectiveness analysis, preventive expenditures); (ii) surrogate market values
(property value, wage differential, travel cost, marketed goods as environmental
surrogates); (iii) potential expenditures (replacement costs, relocation costs, shadow
projects); and (iv) contingent valuation (bidding games, take it or leave it experiments,
trade-off games, costless choice, delphi techniques, input-output models, linear
programming) (Dixon et al. 1986). Few of these techniques have been used in project
planning to date (Perrings 1987, Barbier et al. 1990, Costanza & Perrings 1990, Farber
1991, Munasinghe 1993, Munasinghe & Cruz 1995). To guide planners in using these
new techniques, there are several manuals such as Manual for Policy Analysts (OECD
1995) and Workbook for Environmental Economics (ADB 1996).
Application of the available techniques in Asia includes (i) extended cost-benefit
analysis of the Nepal Hill Forest Project (ADB 1996); (ii) change in productivity method
for mangrove areas in Irian Jaya (Ruitenbeek 1994); (iii) dose-response relationships to
calculate the health impacts of air pollution control in Jakarta (Ostro 1994); (iv) extended
cost benefit analysis for a soil conservation project in the Loess Plateau in PRC
(Magrath 1992); and (v) contingent valuation for water supply projects (Whittington et al.
Development of environmental economics techniques is moving towards
comprehensive computer modeling, combining general ecosystem models and
economic models (Bockstael et al. 1995). Ecological-economic models include (i)
extended cost benefit analysis, (ii) extended physical-economic models with resource
inputs and waste output, (iii) ecological evaluation models, and (iv) resource and
pollution impact models (Braat & von Lierop 1987, Braat & Steetskamp 1991).


Comprehensive planning at one level may be futile if the other levels are not
planned with the same consistency and aimed at common goals. The failure of centrally
planned economies, where local initiative and pragmatic planning were actively stifled
for the larger national cause, provides ample warning that assumptions about global
goals must be constantly tested against local realities. National, regional, and global


Mumford (1968) stressed that the human relationship to the environment should
extend simultaneously on various levels, such as the small community, the village, the
town, the region, the country, and the world. If one of these links is missing, the
interaction between the individual and the larger community is invalidated, and the
human relationship to the environment is degraded to one of isolation or disruption.
However, there appears to have been no systematic attempt to develop mechanisms to
provide strong vertical linkages between different planning levels or to even test that
they exist.

political authority need to be better balanced and integrated with local levels of
governance (Hempel 1996).
One promising development in creating vertical linkages is the Polestar Project at
the Stockholm Environment Institute (1995). The Polestar project aims to develop and
apply appropriate methods, concepts and data for sustainability planning. The project
has three dimensions: capacity building, sustainability studies, and global scenarios. To
support these studies, the project has developed a micro-computer tool, the Polestar
System, for entering economic, resource, and environmental information for
examination of alternative development scenarios at sub-national, national and global
Institutionally, considerable promise is offered by the Netherlands' approach to its
National Environmental Policy Plan (NEPP2 1994). This national plan is explicitly linked
to various international commitments and the commitments entered into by the regional
European Community, and includes negotiated agreements (declarations of intent) with
industry sectors, municipalities and regions, provinces and water boards.
To summarize, consistency between all planning levels and an ability to
aggregate or disaggregate plans is an essential characteristic of a truly integrated
planning approach. The simplest check is to ensure that each plan (except for project
and global levels) is at least linked into the levels above and below. However, there are
no well-developed tools or techniques to systematically test these linkages. While
genuine consultative processes at the local level are essential, merely aggregating
thousands of local plans cannot form the basis of global action. Civic consciousness,
ecocentric attitudes, and a truly democratic social environment are prerequisites for
sufficiently fertile ground for the seed of integrated economic and environmental
planning to take root.
A nested hierarchy of integrated E-c-E plans may make a pivotal contribution to
achieving sustainable development in the Asian region. However, there is no evidence
that such a vertically integrated planning system is in place in any Asian country and
there is little attention being paid to bringing such a system into being.


The key level of intervention appears to be at the sub-national level, where there
is a remarkable paucity of integrated E-c-E plans in Asia. The OAS/ADB integrated E-cE planning model (modified where necessary) provides a suitable basis for such
planning. A detailed analysis of sub-national E-c-E planning is presented in King,
Annandale and Bailey (1999).


Multilateral donors have an important role to play in fostering such planning,

including provision of training to environmental and economic planners throughout the
region. Such support will also result in a forward pipeline of sustainable investment
projects, a matter of considerable interest to all multilateral donors.

King, P., D. Annandale, and J. Bailey. 2008. A Conceptual Framework for Integrated
Economic and Environmental Planning in Asia A Literature Review.
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